Archive for the 'Personal' Category

5 Black Things I STILL Want to Own

Whenever I say with glee and smug satisfaction, Black is my colour. My Ma contends that black is no colour at all. Few weeks ago when my father was very unwell, my parents were scared of a relapse. You know how parents have some superstitions. My Ma stealthily takes me aside (so father doesn’t hear) and say, ”you know, dear, I am very scared. You were sitting in a black dress near your father’s bedside. Why would I see you wearing black? It is bad omen.” And I calmly reply, ”Mama, that’s because I wear black a lot. Haven’t you noticed last three days I’ve been wearing black dresses.” Ma couldn’t argue with that and I am very happy to let you know there was no bad omen. My father, thank God, is doing well.

So, with so much black clothing and black devices, are there any more black things I aspire? oh yes! 5 more black things I could do with:

1. Black ornate bathtub: I love bathtubs. When I go on vacation, before booking a hotel I check, Do you have a bathtub, sir? It maybe awkward, but let me tell you it is very important criteria especially on a vacation. 🙂 I found something like this on Pinterest, but I could with do more ornate one. 😉

bathtub2. Black three-sided bookshelf: Actually the bookshelf does have four sides, all I want is my bookshelf to surround me on three sides in a room. yes, heard it right. On three sides. My current bookshelves are proving to be very inadequate. I want something like this (again Pinterest image of a wardrobe actually), but of course, with a preference for a larger space in middle to put a bed, where I can lie and read in those very comfy postures.

bookshelf3. Black Moissanite ring: I am not fond of jewellery, esp gold ones. Diamond is passè. 😉 I want a simple ring with black Moissanite. Something like this would do nicely. (It costs around $1500 last I checked.)

ring4. Black iPad: yes, you heard it right, I want a black wi-fi enabled iPad. Hopefully I will win it in #WhatTheBlack

5. Little black dress: I know, I know. 2 months ago, I bought 17 dresses, most of them black. In fact, my wardrobe is predominantly black. I remember posting this FB update few days ago, leading to a wry query in the comments  about ‘Morticia audition?’.

FB_rant
Yet, my search for that perfect little black dress is incomplete. There is still one out there that is waiting for me.

This post is a part of #WhatTheBlack activity at BlogAdda.com.

5 Movies That I Have Loved

(This post is for my friend Meetu who runs a fantastic movie review blog WOGMA – for the uninitiated, USP of this blog  is that all movies are reviewed here Without Giving the Movies Away. This is part of a competition to celebrate WOGMA’s fifth birthday. 🙂 )

Movies and books bring boundless pleasures in my life. I have already written in past about my movie quirks and movies I have loved.

This time I have spent last 2 days thinking which 3 movies to zero on as my favourites. Every movie in itself has served a purpose in my life. I distinctly remember laughing off all my work stress watching Bheja Fry – not a critically acclaimed movie this one – but it worked for me that day.  At different times, I have watched romantic flicks such as Notting Hill, Bridget Jones’ Diary, Casablanca, Gone with the Wind, Pretty Women, When Harry Met Sally, Roman Holiday, Pearl Harbour, Before Sunset, Before Sunrise, Breakfast at Tiffany’s – and derived a girl’s happy pleasure out of it. 🙂 Then there were movies such as Hotel Rwanda, Blood Diamond, Waltz with Bashir (fantastic animation) and more recently The Whistleblower – that opened my eyes to genocides, atrocities happening in the world. They struck a chord somewhere deep inside that I did not know existed. I still draw in my breath when I see that gas chamber scene where women suddenly find themselves in Schindler’s List – the relieved sigh is not far when I realise it was only a harmless shower. Adrian Brody’s lonely adventures in The Pianist and ill-fated friendship of two innocent kids – one German and Jew in The Boy in Stripped Pyjamas are etched in my otherwise forgettable memory.  No book on Holocaust (not even Diary of Anne Frank) could ever move me so deeply and eternally like these movies did.

Then there are those inspiring intriguing memoirs/biographies and true events that sometimes inspire/impact you more than written word – The Motorcycle Diaries, A Beautiful Mind, Pursuit of Happyness.  Then, there are hugely entertaining, classy mob movies – Goodfellas, Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction and mother of all – The Godfather, which must be my most-watched movie with my favourite acting men there!

Then there are Hindi movies I have loved and been proud of – Pyasa, Abhimaan, Maqbool, Satya, Rang De Basanti, Chak De India, Taare Zameen Pe, A Wednesday, Aamir, Ardhasatya…Yet it would be unfair if I pick any of these alone as my favourite movies. So I will pick 5 movies that I thought were unique for a reason – movies I would be proud to make if I could.

Continue reading ‘5 Movies That I Have Loved’

No One Killed Jessica – Movie Review

(Honestly, it’s more of a commentary on movie and the real events as they took place. Watching this movie was a personal experience that I refused to dissociate with real-life events. You can choose to skip the blue, italicized parts in paragraphs – they are mostly comments about real-life events. Also, all names except Jessica and Sabrina, were changed in the movie, yet I have stuck to real-life names. Also, I chose not to mention Amit Trivedi’s music which made more sense to me when it blended with movie. )

The title ‘No One Killed Jessica’ (NOKJ) is taken from the screaming mocking newspaper headlines when Manu Sharma, the accused in Jessica Lal murder case was acquitted by the court. That judgement, in a case that was expected to be an open-and-shut considering the number of witnesses that were present when the accused Manu Sharma shot Jessica, awakened a nation from slumber of inaction.

1999, the year when this incident occurred, was an eventful year. Jessica was killed in April, Kargil war dominated the news next three months and in December, flight IC184 was hijacked where a passenger Rupin Katyal, returning from his honeymoon, was cruelly murdered by the hijackers. There was lot for nation to chew on.

1999 was also the year I decided to stay in Delhi permanently, choosing over an option of studying abroad. I grew up with this Jessica story. The movie made me relive all of it, from when it started.

To its credit, it is true to facts, which is more than what can be said of best of true-story-turned-movies (such as ‘A Beautiful Mind’, ‘Papillion’, ‘Midnight Express’.). Though, while we are at it, I must point out NOKJ does *choose* to omit some facts such as dubious role of restaurant-owner Bina Ramani. But that is director,  Raj Kumar Gupta’s prerogative and I think he has largely made a good choice about which events to focus on.  I’ll come to that later.

Jessica Lal, an upcoming model was a celebrity bartender who had decided to help out her friend Malini Ramani’s mother at her restaurant ‘Tamarind Court’. (Since the restaurant , whose real name along with its owner is not mentioned in the movie, didn’t have liquor license yet in real life, they called it a private party. Hiding this fact, rather than help law to apprehend the killer would be initially more important to the restaurant owner Bina Ramani.) She was killed amongst her friends.

NOKJ begins with how Jessica’s sister Sabrina is woken up that fateful night and how she would discover that finding justice that was rightfully hers wasn’t easy in this country plagued with corruption.

Continue reading ‘No One Killed Jessica – Movie Review’

Makings of a Book Club

So, The Tossed Salad Book Club meet in Pune had a roaring start. More than 40 people turned up. Anyone in social networking knows, no matter how many RSVPs, but if even 15 turn up for an esoteric event like this, it is a success.

A large part of credit for the successful meet goes to the presence of Amish Tripathi, the author of the book ‘The Immortals of Meluha’, which we were meeting to discuss.

Sahil Khan, who runs an online lifestyle magazine called ‘The Tossed Salad’ took initiative and talked to a famous bookstore, Landmark for venue. Since group was big, a big venue was required. A list of 6 books covering different genres was drawn and one that won was ‘Immortals of Meluha’. Sahil then surprised us by inviting the author Amish Tripathi as the guest for the book club.

We began the first ever book club meet with just 12 people. I invited introductions of all members and asking what did they expect from the book club. Soon, more people walked in. There was a crowd of people at back who stood up for the entire time of the discussion.

It was an interesting discussion ranging on theories of reincarnation, mythology, Indus valley civilisation, divinity, philosophy. Lot of questions were put up to Amish, some of them ranging from his personal philosophical beliefs, historical references and his own motivation for writing the book way he did. And Amish answered each one of them with meticulous details. One and half hour flied very quickly and I could still see raised hands to ask more questions. I was reluctant to close it but Sahil stepped up. So, I quickly took charge and announced the book for next meet and an invitation to new ones to join the book club.

Continue reading ‘Makings of a Book Club’

A Close Shave

A leisure trip to bookshop usually lifts my gloom. Needless to say, it also lightens my wallet. Today’s trip was no different. I had just seen off my sister at station.

When your dear ones depart, a strange knot forms inside stomach. Suddenly nothing seems as good as it seemed a day ago. My theory is it is easier on the people who go, harder on the ones that remain behind. Therefore, my trip to bookshop.

After an hour armed with packages, I hailed an auto rickshaw to home. And then I remembered a friend had mentioned a party tonight. I called the friend to ask if party was still on.

While talking I noticed that the auto rickshaw driver bumped twice into a motorcycle and a car. I asked him to take it slow. I checked, he was not drunk. I am good at smelling it out. 5 years of practice in crowd-ridden buses of Delhi.

Me and my friend fixed the meeting details and I joked that he should wear a pink T-shirt so that I can make him out in the crowd. We hung up. That’s the last thing I remember. Last thing before the accident.

Continue reading ‘A Close Shave’

Updates, Tag and General News

First the good news, I have written about DU distance learning students’ plight at their courses not being recognised. IGNOU has now given a green signal for DU distance learning courses. Hurray! 🙂

I had written this post at request of Deepak, who wasn’t receiving his appointment letter from Staff Selection Commission (SSC) even though he was selected. So, thankfully, Deepak will receive his appointment letter shortly.

All winners of Cricket-opedia Contest by Virgin IHL have received their gifts. However, I could confirm it with all winners except one, Sandil Srinivasan. Sandil, could you please let me know if you got your goody bag?

Now come the dedications and thank yous.

Continue reading ‘Updates, Tag and General News’

Angels of the Day

…are the auto-wallahs I met today.

Yes, you heard it right. 🙂

Truthfully, most harrowing thing that I have encountered in Pune has been its auto rickshaws.

Some days ago, I was actually stuck with an auto driver, who was taking me round and round the same place, asking directions to random people, taking random turns. I got very scared inwardly since I didn’t know my way to home either and it was about 9 already. I finally ordered him to stop, threw some bills (even though I was still within mile of my source point) and ran away.

Pune auto rickshaws have used every trick in the book to cheat me. They usually tell you incorrect fare, since meter shows only distance covered. Once, they used Bombay or some other place rate card (which had higher rates), lied to me that in the morning newspaper tariffs have been increased, had faulty meter that stopped in between and now they demand unreasonable price. Of course, I have deflected most of them barring once or twice, because I can easily calculate the fare correctly.

So today, when hurriedly paid some bills (usual fare) to the auto wallah and was rushing out to office, he stopped me to hand me some bills back. I gaped in confusion.

He was forty-ish bespectacled Muslim driver with hennaed hair and beard.

He explained, I had paid him more money. And I remembered then that I had flagged auto away from home so obviously it was less fare. Gingerly, I told him, no one ever takes less. He dismissed my observation with curt “Banta nahi to kyun lun.” Loosely meaning, if that is not the deserved cost, why should I take.

I was so touched by this gentleman’s gesture, I blessed him hundred times in my heart. For reinforcing my faith in people. And auto wallahas. 😀 God bless him!

Similarly, on my way back from the malls of my swine-flu city, where I had accompanied a friend to find a nice gift for her husband (What do you gift men, by the way, besides clothes, accessories, wallets, cologne?), I easily found an auto way back. By meter. It is a minor miracle since I live in bit far-end of city; and auto rickshaws refuse to ply at times.

Next time I complain about auto rickshaws, remind me of this post. By the way, is there anything we can do when autowallahs refuse to ply and overcharge? 8)


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